Cross-Country Chillin'

The recent Winter-Olympic Games in Sochi inspired Dee and I to accept a friend’s invitation to join in on a cross-country skiing adventure. So the long-weekend in Ontario found us at the Albion Hills Conservation Park under clear skies and temperatures at minus-10 degrees celsius.

Cross-country skiing is not the same as the downhill version, or in our case, the bunny-slopes version. Not only is the terrain different, the equipment is also unique. With down-hill skiing, the boots are stiff and attached firmly to the toe as well as at the heel of the boots. With cross-country skis, only the toe end of the flexible boot is attached… allowing our heels to lift, making it hard to create that “large pizza slice” for when us novices brake ahead of approaching trees and stray backcountry explorers.

With accessories donned and trail outlined, we set off into the wild white wasteland. It did feel slightly creepy when nobody else was on the trail. Woodlands to the left and right accompanied our 3.6km double-loop. Nobody would have heard us scream “bear!”, but we did have each other. I was however at a disadvantage... between Dee, Ben, Doc and myself, I was the meatiest of the group.

The forward-sliding movement of our feet was actually made easier, as grooves in the snow were created either by previous skiers or were deliberately formed by the forest rangers. Thank you, Smokey. “Only We Can Prevent Wildfires… And Twisted Ankles”.


So that was our cross-country experience for the weekend. We could have been cocky and ventured straight on to the 8-kilometer course. But there will be other days when we return to mark new territories. Cross-country is in no way comparable to downhill mogul-runs. It isn't for the adrenalin-junkies… which makes it just perfect for us. 

February 2014

© Prakoso Sastrowardoyo 2012